Combustible Dust Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify dust explosion & reactivity hazards

Flammable Gas & Vapor Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify explosion hazards for vapor and gas mixtures

Chemical Reactivity Testing

Laboratory testing to quantify reactive chemical hazards, including the possibility of material incompatibility, instability, and runaway chemical reactions

DIERS Methodology

Design emergency pressure relief systems to mitigate the consequences of unwanted chemical reactivity and account for two-phase flow using the right tools and methods

Deflagrations (Dust/Vapor/Gas)

Properly size pressure relief vents to protect your processes from dust, vapor, and gas explosions

Effluent Handling

Pressure relief sizing is just the first step and it is critical to safety handle the effluent discharge from an overpressure event

Thermal Stability

Safe storage or processing requires an understanding of the possible hazards associated with sensitivity to variations in temperature

UN-DOT

Classification of hazardous materials subject to shipping and storage regulations

Safety Data Sheets

Develop critical safety data for inclusion in SDS documents

Biological

Model transport of airborne virus aerosols to guide safe operations and ventilation upgrades

Radioactive

Model transport of contamination for source term and leak path factor analysis

Fire Analysis

Model transport of heat and smoke for fire analysis

Flammable or Toxic Gas

transport of flammable or toxic gas during a process upset

OSS consulting, adiabatic & reaction calorimetry and consulting

Onsite safety studies can help identify explosibility and chemical reaction hazards so that appropriate testing, simulations, or calculations are identified to support safe scale up

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Testing to support safe design of batteries and electrical power backup facilities particularly to satisfy UL9540a ed.4

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Testing and consulting on the explosion risks associated with devices and processes which use or produce hydrogen

Spent Fuel

Safety analysis for packaging, transport, and storage of spent nuclear fuel

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Safety analysis to underpin decommissioning process at facilities which have produced or used radioactive nuclear materials

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Testing and analysis to ensure that critical equipment will operate under adverse environmental conditions

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Testing and modeling services to support resolution of emergent safety issues at a power plant

Adiabatic safety calorimeters (ARSST and VSP2)

Low thermal inertial adiabatic calorimeters specially designed to provide directly scalable data that are critical to safe process design

Other Lab Equipment (DSC/ARC supplies, CPA, C80, Super Stirrer)

Products and equipment for the process safety or process development laboratory

FERST

Software for emergency relief system design to ensure safe processing of reactive chemicals, including consideration of two-phase flow and runaway chemical reactions

FATE

Facility modeling software mechanistically tracks transport of heat, gasses, vapors, and aerosols for safety analysis of multi-room facilities

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Recent Posts

Avoiding Hazardous Runaway Reactions in Cold/Freezing Temperatures

Posted by The Fauske Team on 12.19.17

By Ken Kurko, Process Safety Services Director, Fauske & Associates, LLC

Hazardous_liquids_thawingColder temperatures mean lower sample reactivity at those temperatures (less heat generation) so, shipping is generally safer from a UN testing perspective. But, there is one thing that comes to mind relating to problems that could arise from dropping temperatures. If a container of a liquid chemical becomes frozen due to colder conditions (whether it be during shipping or storage), the container will have to be heated up to melt the chemical before use. If it is simply moved to a warmer room, it could take several days to thaw depending on the quantity of material and temperatures involved. Sometimes, people will throw band heaters on these frozen containers to expedite the thawing process. Incidents have been caused by people accidentally heating the containers too much (sometimes way past the melting point), causing runaway reactions. The following link discusses this issue in depth for a common industrial solvent, DMSO:

http://www.gaylordchemical.com/innov

Here is another useful link, an acrylic acid handling guide by Arkema, BASF, and Dow Chemical. In section 6.2, it describes the issue in depth for a monomer. Later on, it also talks about avoiding using acrylic acid from a partially thawed container. This thawed material could be void of inhibitor, making it much more hazardous.

http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_0933/0901b80380933166.pdf?filepath=acrylates/pdfs/noreg/745-00006.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc

Later on, it also talks about avoiding using acrylic acid from a partially thawed container. This thawed material could be void of inhibitor, making it much more hazardous.

The ways to prevent such an occurrence extend back to truly understanding the characteristics and reactivity of the chemical you are using – what temperature or pressure can incite a negative reaction, and have safe handling processes in place. MSDS information and testing can help.

Ideally, the most obvious manner of prevention is to avoid the chemical freezing if at all possible. However, if you think there is a chance you will need to thaw before use, incorporate the safe thawing time into the process schedule to ensure that it thaws safely. This is definitely one of those situations where proceeding ‘low and slow’ can make a huge difference between the desirable outcome and disaster.

If you are unsure of proper chemical process safety including handling in colder temperatures, our engineers can help. Please feel free to contact me at Ken Kurko, 630-887- 5266, Kurko@fauske.com for more information. www.fauske.com

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Topics: process safety, runaway reactions, hazardous chemical, hazardous liquid, chemical handling

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